Atlanta at Toronto

Toronto's CuJo stops 29 shots to earn 450th career win, first this season wire reports

TORONTO -- Curtis Joseph is happy the long wait for his milestone win is over.

Joseph made 29 saves to earn his first win of the season and the 450th victory of his NHL career and the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied to beat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday.

Pavel Kubina scored the winner on a power play 33 seconds into overtime to help the Leafs end a three-game losing streak.

Nikolai Kulemin, Lee Stempniak and Jason Blake also scored for Toronto.

The 41-year-old Joseph earned his first victory since April 5 when he beat Vancouver while with Calgary. He made 29 saves.

"Wins are the most important measure for goalies, I think. Certainly it's a great accomplishment," Joseph said. "I think I really read the plays well and really focused in. That's been my problem. Sometimes you're only human and you learn."

"Cujo made three or four huge saves for us, for him, as much as anything to gather some confidence after a shaky start," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "And we got our offense going, we had a ton of shots, a ton of scoring chances."

Colby Armstrong tied the game 3-3 for Atlanta on a power play at 13:17 of the third, but Kubina won it by sending a slap shot past Johan Hedberg. Hedberg finished with 43 saves.

Bryan Little, with his seventh goal in four games, and Jim Slater also scored for the Thrashers, who have lost three in a row.

Joseph is scheduled to start again when the Maple Leafs host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

He was making his first start since a 6-3 loss at home to the Thrashers on Nov. 25.

The Maple Leafs fell behind 2-0 early, but Joseph settled down to allow his teammates to rally.

Blake gave the Maple Leafs their first lead of the night at 3-2 with 1:26 left in the second period when he tapped in the rebound of Jonas Frogren's point shot initially deflected by Dominic Moore.

They couldn't hold that lead, but Tobias Enstrom's interference penalty with 8.1 seconds left in the third period set up Kubina for the winner.

Joseph stopped Slater on a breakaway to briefly preserve the 2-2 tie.

"They had a few chances, especially on the breakaway," Kubina said. "Cujo played a great game for us."

Joseph made a couple of solid saves before that. He was seemingly energized by Stempniak's goal at 4:16 of the second that made it 2-2.

The forward, playing on the first line with Matt Stajan sidelined by an eye injury, took a pass from Alexei Ponikarovsky and sent a wrist shot past Hedberg from the faceoff circle.

The Thrashers finished the first period up 2-1.

Little opened the scoring on a power play, completing a nifty passing play by sending Todd White's centering pass from behind the goal past Joseph at 4:41.

Just over two minutes later, Slater made it 2-0 when he took a brilliant touch pass from Joey Crabb at the blue line, walked in on Joseph and had his rebound trickle just past the goal line.

Kulemin cut into the lead at 8:29 when he converted a nice behind-the-back centering pass from Mikhail Grabovski as he cut behind then goal.


  • Leafs winger Jeremy Williams suffered a shoulder injury falling awkwardly into the boards early in the first period and didn't return. He came in with five goals and two assists since his recall Dec. 7.
  • Stajan (right eye) and tough guy Andre Deveaux were scratched for the Maple Leafs.
  • Zach Bogosian (broken left leg), the third overall pick last summer, fellow defenseman Scott Lehman (upper body) and center Jason Williams sat out for the Thrashers.
  • Kulemin ended an eight-game goal-less streak.
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Jamal Mayers is the first to congratulate goalie Curtis Joseph on his milestone victory. (AP)
Jamal Mayers is the first to congratulate goalie Curtis Joseph on his milestone victory. (AP)
Atlanta (12-20-5)20103
Toronto  (15-16-6) «12014
Three Stars
C. Joseph

Saves: 29
Save Pct.: .906
M. Grabovski

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
I. White

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
04:51Power Play - Bryan Little (19), Wrist Shot. Assist: White, Kozlov
06:49Jim Slater (3), Backhand Shot. Assist: Crabb, Havelid
08:29Nikolai Kulemin (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Grabovski, Frogren
04:16Lee Stempniak (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ponikarovsky, Antropov
18:34Jason Blake (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Moore, Frogren
13:17Power Play - Colby Armstrong (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Kovalchuk, Christensen
33.0Power Play - Pavel Kubina (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Kaberle, Moore
Penalty Summary
04:23Frogren, 2 min, Hooking
16:55Sifers, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
16:55Slater, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
05:35Moore, 2 min, Roughing
09:49Kubina, 2 min, Elbowing
13:06Crabb, 2 min, Tripping
15:48Armstrong, 2 min, Tripping
11:38Finger, 2 min, Hooking
19:51Enstrom, 2 min, Interference
Shots On Goal
Johan Hedberg 60:29434
Curtis Joseph 60:33293
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 19260
Referees - Bill McCreary, Ian Walsh
Linesmen - Scott Driscoll, Brad Kovachik
Other Games
Phi 3 Final
Van 2
Ott 3 Final
Edm 2
Wash 4 Final
Buf 2
Mon 2 Final
TB 1
NJ 4 Final
StL 3
Bos 5 Final
Pitt 2
Chi 0 Final
Det 4